May 19, 2024

Sudan Army Rejects Call for Humanitarian Cease-Fire Amid Escalating Violence

Sudan’s Army has rejected the call for a 24-hour humanitarian cease-fire proposed by the Rapid Support Forces paramilitaries, despite at least 185 people being killed and over 1,800 others wounded in four days of fighting across the country. The situation remains volatile, with neither the R.S.F. nor the Sudanese Army seemingly in control of the situation. Hospitals have been forced to close as they face bombardments or evacuations, leaving many people without access to crucial medical supplies, and the United States’ diplomatic convoy was attacked on Monday. Despite international calls for an end to the violence, neither side has offered any reassurances to the people of Sudan.

On Tuesday, the R.S.F. posted a video on Twitter showing their fighters outside the presidential palace in Khartoum, claiming they were in control of the city, but these claims were swiftly dismissed by both sides. The internet has remained functioning throughout the conflict, allowing unverified claims to circulate on social media.

Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, Sudan’s neighbor to the north, addressed Egypt’s military involvement in the conflict for the first time, stating that Egypt was working to ensure the safety of its troops who had been captured by R.S.F. paramilitaries on Saturday. Reports have suggested that Egypt has been providing military support to Gen. Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, the leader of the Sudanese Army who has been the country’s de facto leader for several years.

The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies stated that it is nearly impossible to provide humanitarian aid in and around Khartoum due to the ongoing fighting. Farid Aiywar, the organization’s head for Sudan, warned that if disruptions to the health system continue, it could “almost go into a collapse,” further exacerbating an already precarious situation.

The situation in Sudan remains dire, with little hope of a resolution in sight. The conflict has crushed hopes of a transition to democracy after the 2019 uprising that ousted former autocrat Omar Hassan al-Bashir. International officials have called for accountability for anyone who attempts to undermine Sudan’s democratic progress.

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